Pompeo, Mattis hold talks with Indian counterparts

India to go ahead with S-400 deal with Russia despite threat of US sanctions – reports

The COMCASA will facilitate India to obtain critical defence technologies from the USA, and access critical communication network to ensure interoperability among the U.S. and the Indian armed forces. A month later in Vietnam, at the annual summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, President Donald Trump championed India's role in the region-even though it's not a member of APEC-signaling that he was serious about accelerating strategic cooperation with India.

Pompeo and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met separately Thursday before joining top defense officials for talks.

Pompeo and Mattis later met Modi, and the top US diplomat conveyed Trump's support for "India's role as a leading global power and regional security provider", the State Department said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of Defence James Mattis, India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and India's Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attend a joint news conference after a meeting in New Delhi, India, September 6, 2018.

On the tenth anniversary of the Indo-US nuclear deal, India took another substantial leap into America's orbit by agreeing Thursday to have its military share communication and intelligence with the US defence forces.

Known as COMCASA, this deal will allow the two countries to exchange sensitive military information quickly and securely.

As for what weapons India is looking at purchasing from the US, Director of the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Lieutenant General Charlie Hooper, said simply that discussions were underway to sell "many, many systems" to India, according to The Financial Times. Till recently India was designated as STA-2 countries, along with seven others.

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India is also in talks with Russian Federation to buy five advanced S-400 long-range, surface-to-air missile systems, a possible deal that could face rough weather under new USA sanctions.

The COMCASA will also provide a legal framework for defence technology transfer between the USA and India and help New Delhi acquire critical platforms like Sea Guardian drones from the US. "That doesn't mean we can't be partners", he told reporters regarding the S-400 purchase.

India already has bought US Apache attack helicopters and other gear, and is negotiating to buy armed drones.

"We know the threats to stability that exist in the region, and the United States seeks to ensure that both of our peoples can live in peace and in freedom", Pompeo said.

Pompeo denied he had anything to do with the letter. India trades extensively with Russian Federation and Iran, which are now facing American sanctions. I note that over seven decades ago this week, the United States established diplomatic relations with India, prior to its formal Independence.

"It not only allows us to be more interoperable with India, but it allows India to be more interoperable across its own systems.most significantly, it opens up a range of defense technologies to India", Joseph Felter, deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia, told a small group of reporters.

In his remarks during the 2+2 summit, Pompeo said the USA looked forward to "finalising the Westinghouse nuclear project that will provide clean and reliable power to millions of Indians".

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